Conclusion: I got mine in near mint condition on eBay. It's a great lens, a true L. I also have the 24-105L which is fine, too, but this is a totally different tool. The colors are crisp and it is tac-sharp even at 2.8. on my 5DII, I normally shoot primes and use zooms only when I'm lazy or leave the bag at home. This little gem not only feels like a prime, it also shoots like one.
Pros: Color rendition, contrast, sharpness, bokeh. Lightweight but sturdy. Price I paid ( 420 Euros) is still low for what you get.
Cons: None. Zoom range is less than 2x, but the difference btw. 20 and 35mm is huge anyway.
Conclusion: I bought this old guy used at a very cheap price (300 Euro) and I think the quality/price ratio is absolutely fantastic. On a 30D (1.6 crop factor) the range is a bit odd and not-so-wide, but I like 35mm and 50mm primes, so I am satisfied with it. Bokeh is awesome, colour rendition great (for my standard of course), solid built, I couldn't ask for more at that price!
Pros: Lightweight, sharp @ f/2.8, great contrast, bokeh!!!
Conclusion: For a third of the price of the 16-35 mkII, you give up 4 mm on the wide end. I would of course prefer the 16-35 because it is wider, but for the price it is a lot of lens. Very well built, fast, with great colors and contrast. I use it both on a 5D and 50D, it is much better on the 5D. I use this lens for travel street photography, and it works very nicely. If you can find one and do not want to spend over $1500.00 on a new 16-35, it is a no brainer.
Pros: Good quality, sharp, good colors smaller, lighter than te 16-35, fast autofocus, price
Conclusion: -Focus was quick and accurate.Although being an older lens it does not have USM- so you hear it focus just a bit, not noisy just not USM -Very sharp in the center WO -Typical L color and contrast -For some reason the exif for the 20mm shots says 22mm in DPP, but when i view it in ptlens it shows 20mm Not sure why this is happening -There is some pin cushion distortion WO on the wide end not extreme but noticeable in some situations -there is also vignetting as well when...
Pros: size, very compact.Build Quality.Sharp WO.Typical L color and contrast.Price
Conclusion: I have been contemplating this lens for quite a while. I have the 17-40mm f/4L and the extra stop became more of a need as I ventured to more indoor low-light photography. I passed up several on ebay as I was worried about the age of this lens. I couldn't wait any longer and I was not going to drop almost 3 times as much for th 16-35mm f/2.8L. I picked up a used copy last week and am amazed at the quality of this lens.
Pros: quick focus in low light, great iq, lightweight
Conclusion: I passed up on a 16-35 ver 1 in good condition and was really kicking myself, but didn't have an extra grand to drop on it. A few months later I find this little one for half the price. Sold. It's much more solid than lenses of late. Feels much more "metal" - hard, smooth, and compact. The zoom ring turns smoothly and easily.
Pros: Small, lighter than the newer versions but solid as a rock. Fast focusing despite old arc motor. 20mm is really wide! 2.8 a huge help in indoor shooting.
Cons: No service on this lens, no USM meaning no full time manual.
Conclusion: I use the so called "mythic lens" canon 16-35L for 6 years around the world until one day at london camden market i've found one of this "rare" canon 20-35 2.8L and honestly the basic thing that called me was it's reduced sized against the younger and pricy sister 16-35L. I MUST SAY I NEVER USED THE 16-35L ANYMORE ON MY CANON EOS CAMERAS! This canon 20-35 2.8L lens is really the "lux" of canon lens.
Conclusion: The one pictured is not the L version. I was able to pick up a 20-35 mm f2.8 L lens on ebay. Going by the code its about 20 years old. The manual focus ring is a bit loose but everythimg else is a real surprise for its age. I like 35mm focal length and have been thinking about the 35mm f1.4L for some time but, for now, the 30-35 is really good enough!
Conclusion: Very Sharp and more than wide enough for my use. I was looking for a decent wide that would not break my bank account and still would give me the sharpness I wanted. This little gem fills that requirement to a "T". I was amazed at the color and sharpness. As far as color it beats my 70-200F4 IS L . It is a lens that will see some use. Focus is fast enough for my use, landscapes do not move and since I am hard of hearing motor sound is not an issue either.
Pros: Build quality, sharpness, and color all are excellent. Light weight and compact.
Cons: For me None really. No longer in production The Photo quality is what is important. Focus speed is not an issue nor is sound.